New details have emerged in the ongoing Epic Games vs. Google antitrust trial regarding a lucrative deal Google proposed to convince Epic to launch its hit game Fortnite on the Android Play Store in 2018.
Google’s Generous Offer Rejected by Epic
According to testimony from Google VP Purnima Kochikar, Google offered Epic Games a $147 million incentive package over three years to launch Fortnite on Play. This deal aimed to stem a feared “contagion” of developers bypassing Play and its lucrative fees. However, Epic rejected Google’s offer and initially launched Fortnite independently, avoiding Play’s commissions.
Google Fears Loss of Billions in Revenue
Internal documents revealed Google feared a massive loss in revenue if other major developers like Blizzard and Nintendo followed Epic’s lead. Google estimated losing between $130 and $250 million directly from Fortnite’s absence and up to $3.6 billion from broader downstream effects. Google maintains it simply wanted to retain games on Play, not maintain an unlawful monopoly.
Epic Alleges Google’s Monopoly Tactics
Conversely, Epic is using the rejected deal and internal documents to argue Google utilizes monopoly tactics to maintain Play’s dominance in Android app distribution. While not definitive proof, the deal provides insight into how Google values its gaming business. The trial continues as Epic aims to prove Google’s antitrust violations.